Cornwall and Isles of Scilly outperform
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly outperformed the UK average
for wealth creation in 2002, according to Government figures
released today (December 22).
While Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is bottom of the league
of the GVA per head UK index its growth from 2001 to 2002
is 5.9 per cent, well above the UK average of 5.4 per cent.
And the new statistics show that Cornwall and the Isles of
Scillies' wealth has grown by 50 per cent between 1995 and
2002, outperforming Devon.
These two-year-old statistics also confirm the long term
nature of the Objective One Programme. And, because they only
go up to the end of 2002, they do not reflect the huge successes
this region has seen to date. These include the Objective
One flagship project, Combined Universities Cornwall, which
is set to raise GVA in coming years.
Now, at the end of 2004, the region is benefiting from an
over 60 per cent drop in unemployment since the late 1990s.
The CUC has opened, the main rail line between Probus and
Burngullow has been dualled, flights at Newquay airport are
expanding and work is to start soon on the A30 bottleneck
at Goss Moor.
These improvements, to infrastructure and learning, will
foster businesses and raise GVA further.
By the end of 2002, out of an Objective One pot of more than
£300 million, £148.89 million had been committed
to a total of 306 projects. But of that just £45.3 million
had been spent.
Much of that was invested in training which will raise the
GVA in the long term but would not have had any significant
effect by that time. Many workspace projects had yet to be
completed and others, such as the Tolvaddon Energy Park and
Torpoint, had only recently opened. Therefore the businesses
occupying them had yet to contribute to the economy.
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership,
said: "The statistics showing the region's high rate
of growth are good news since 2002, Cornwall and the Isles
of Scilly have moved on even further and a great feeling of
optimism has blossomed. Objective One is doing its job
encouraging investment in areas including infrastructure,
knowledge and business and as more projects come to fruition
the better things will get."
Since 2002, thousands of businesses have connected to high
speed broadband internet via the actnow initiative, whose
lead partners include the Objective One Programme, Cornwall
County Council, Cornwall Enterprise and the South West RDA.
John Lobb, Leader of Cornwall County Council says: "A
very encouraging pattern is emerging, with Cornwall outstripping
the rest of the UK in terms of wealth and job creation. It
whets the appetite for the next round of figures which will
indicate the effectiveness of Cornwall's flagship projects
like CUC, Peninsula Medical School and actnow broadband. And
with dramatically improved road, rail and air connections
in coming years there is every reason to feel confident that
Cornwall's economy is on track for a spectacular recovery."
Ranulf Scarbrough, actnow programme manager, said: "At
31 Dec 2002, only 760 of Cornwall's 19,000 small businesses
had connected to broadband and only 180 of these had been
connected for more than three months - very little time in
which to expect significant business impact or GVA improvement.
Today, over 5000 small businesses have connected to broadband
and are benefiting from advice and support from actnow to
exploit broadband for business advantage. It is therefore
no surprise that the actnow project has not impacted 2002
GVA figures but through 2003 and 2004 this is expected to
Business Link, which helps small and medium sized businesses
and has received Objective One investment, is already boosting
Bob Dow, Chief Executive Business Link Devon & Cornwall,
said: "Business Link Devon & Cornwall are the first,
and to date only organisation in the county, who has started
to measure the impact of their activity using GVA and we have
been doing this since April 2003. On average, since that time,
we have helped increase GVA by £94,500 with each company
we are working with in Cornwall, and by £2,500 per employee,
helping them to become more productive and compete more effectively.
We strongly believe that our approach of providing high quality
advice and guidance is the best route to increasing regional
performance and are forecasting that we will help generate
a further £32m of GVA with companies we are already
This is progress that we believe really matters to the people
of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439
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